SWINE FLU - CLAIMING PAYMENT FOR VACCINATIONS

Re: SWINE FLU (H1N1) VACCINATION PROGRAMME CLAIMING PAYMENT FOR VACCINATIONS

TO: SHA Primary Care Leads
SHA Pandemic Flu Leads


3rd February 2010

Gateway reference: 13553


Dear Colleague

Re: SWINE FLU (H1N1) VACCINATION PROGRAMME CLAIMING PAYMENT FOR VACCINATIONS

I am writing to you following concerns raised by some practices about sharing patient identifiable information with their PCTs when claiming payment for swine flu vaccinations. The below guidance has been cleared with the GPC.

1. The swine flu DES guidance and Directions (page 6 of the guidance and para 8(c)(ii) of the Directions) make it clear that in order to make payment for vaccinations, PCTs are required to obtain the following information from GP Practices:

i) the patient’s name
ii) the patient’s date of birth
iii) the patient’s NHS number (where known)
iv) confirmation that the patient is in one of the priority groups for vaccination
v) the date on which the vaccine was administered (but where a patient, parent or carer objects to details of a patient’s name or date of birth being supplied to the PCT then the patient’s NHS number will suffice.)

2. Some practices have interpreted the Directions and guidance as meaning that they have to submit this information in writing even if they have automated data extraction systems in place for validating and making payments under DES, which can provide exactly the same information to their PCT. Where automated systems exist, which will provide the information specified in the DES Directions, there is no need for a separate written submission.

Cont.

3. Some practices have also expressed concern about the fact that under the DES they have to provide their PCT with confidential patient identifiable information. However, there is a clear lawful basis for providing this information. Under the 2004 (General Medical Services Contracts) Regulations, contractors are obliged to provide to PCTs, or to someone authorised in writing by the PCT, any information which is required by the PCT in connection with the management of a contract or agreement with practices. The Directions referred to in para 1 make it clear that PCTs are required to obtain this information. PCTs need this information so that they can have a clear audit trail for each claim submitted by practices, as required by the DES. Further, this information will be used for public health monitoring purposes and again there is a clear lawful basis for this activity provided by the Health Service (Control of Patient Information) Regulations 2002. These arrangements are very similar to those under which practices claim payment for childhood pneumococcal vaccinations.

4. Could you please cascade this letter to your PCTs in order to avoid further misunderstanding. The GPC will be sharing this with LMCs.


Kind Regards,




Jill Matthews
National Implementation Director
Primary and Community Care Strategy

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